Classic Greek Isles

Join the Columbia Alumni Association (CAA)  for a 13-day journey to the Greek Isles from July 31 - August 12, 2017.

Greece

Our voyage will take place on an intimate mega-yacht allowing for a more relaxed and personal cruising experience. We begin in Athens with a visit to the magnificent Parthenon atop the Acropolis, affording spectacular views of the city below. Travel inland to central Greece and traverse the enigmatic ruins of Delphi and the Oracle of Apollo.

The centerpiece of our tour is a seven-night cruise aboard the yacht M/Y Harmony V, seeing archaeological sites and discovering the way the landscape and imagination combine to create myth. Each day pull into new ports and see sites such as the sacred island of Delos, the imposing ruins of Mycenae, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and Knossos in Crete, the political center of Minoan civilization. Other exciting ports of call include picturesque Santorini, with its whitewashed homes overlooking the Aegean Sea; and Mykonos with its beautiful port and beaches. Our cruise also takes us to the Peloponnese region on the Greek mainland, where we will visit the fortified medieval town of Monemvassia and explore charming Nafplion with its Venetian-inspired architecture.

Limited to a total of 24 participants,this air-inclusive tour is an exclusive program for Columbia alumni and their guests.

 Dates & Prices:

Dates: July 31 - August 12, 2017

Price: Land/cruise only tour package - $4,600* 

Air-inclusive package starting at $5,697*  from Boston & New York ($4,795 air, land & cruise inclusive plus $597 airline taxes and fees; $305 port taxes). Flights are available from most major US airports. Please see the tour brochure or contact us for info on departures from your preferred city.

Single travelers please add 1,795.

Cabin upgrade- to Category B outside first class cabin on Main Deck midship: $495 per person ($795 single); Category A outside first class cabin on Upper Deck: $695 per person ($1,195 single), Category P outside cabin on Upper Deck: $1,095 ($1,795 single).

Please note that each cabin category has limited availability.

Airline upgrades on round-trip Trans-Atlantic flights:
Business Class - $3,895 per person supplemental fee; Premium Economy - $895 per person per person supplemental fee (upgrades are subject to availability and pricing is subject to change).

* ALL TOUR/CRUISE RATES ARE PER PERSON BASED UPON DOUBLE OCCUPANCY. SINGLE SPACE IS LIMITED. PLEASE CONTACT US TO CHECK AVAIALABILITY FOR SINGLES PRIOR TO SENDING IN YOUR RESERVATION. 

Itinerary:

Day 1: Depart U.S. for Athens, Greece

Day 2: Athens

We arrive in Greece’s capital today and transfer to our hotel. As guests’ arrival times may vary (with some arrivals scheduled in the evening), we have no group activities or meals planned.

Day 3: Athens

On this morning’s tour we visit the city’s most important sites, including the 5th-century BCE Acropolis and Parthenon; and the renowned Acropolis Museum. Our afternoon is free to explore independently in this historic and monumental city. Tonight we enjoy a welcome dinner. B,D

Day 4: Delphi

We travel today to central Greece to explore Delphi, the most beautiful and celebrated ancient site of all. Nestled between twin cliffs and spilling out onto the Sacred Plain, Delphi is where the Oracle representing the revered god Apollo presided over the ancient world. We see the ruins of the Sanctuary of Apollo; walk the marble Sacred Way; and climb to the 4th-century CE theater still in use today. We also visit Delphi’s museum that houses the bronze “Charioteer,” one of antiquity’s greatest statues. We return to Athens late afternoon. B,L

Day 5: Athens/Cruising – Kea

This morning is free for independent exploration; early this afternoon we transfer to Athens’ port of Piraeus to board the Harmony V. We begin our Greek isles idyll as we cruise to tiny Kea, where we can explore on our own after this evening’s welcome aboard dinner. B,D

Day 6: Cruising – Delos/Mykonos

Today we call on the island of Delos, once the religious and political center of the Aegean, and today an important archaeological site devoid of ­inhabitants, as it has been for more than 2,000 years. We take a guided walking tour of the superb ruins here. After lunch on board Harmony V we have an opportunity to swim in the ­Aegean as we cruise to nearby Mykonos, where our ship overnights. The remainder of the day and evening is free to enjoy this popular and very pretty island at our leisure. Dinner tonight is on our own. B,L

Day 7: Cruising – Santorini

We depart early this morning and enjoy a leisurely cruise to Santorini, the southernmost of the Cycladic islands. Once believed to have been the legendary lost island of Atlantis, Santorini today attracts both Greeks and visitors alike with its stupendous setting of whitewashed villages sitting atop the jagged cliffs of a crescent-shaped caldera amidst the cobalt sea. Here we have time to explore on our own, or to join in an optional excursion to local villages and archaeological sites. B,D

Day 8: Cruising – Rethymnon, Crete/­Knossos

After reaching this port city today, we embark on an included private shore excursion to ancient Knossos, political center of Minoan civilization and legendary home of King Minos, the Labyrinth, and the Minotaur. Unlike other Grecian ruins, ­Knossos has been widely reconstructed and its frescoes repainted – a controversial preservation technique no longer practiced today. Still, the results offer an interesting perspective on an ancient site. We enjoy lunch at a local restaurant then return to Rethymnon, where there’s time to explore the picturesque port on our own before we reboard Harmony V and enjoy dinner on board. B,L,D

Day 9: Cruising – Kythira

We enjoy a relaxed swim stop late morning then cruise to the island of Kythira, nestled at the foot of the Peloponnese between the Ionian and Aegean seas. After arriving mid-afternoon, we are at leisure to enjoy this peaceful gem as we wish; Kythira boasts beautiful beaches and a lively capital, Chora, where dinner tonight is on our own. B,L

Day 10: Cruising – Monemvassia/Nafplion ­

Having cruised through the night, this morning we reach the Peloponnese region on the Greek mainland. We have free time to explore the fortified medieval town of Monemvassia, with its uniquely preserved period architecture. After returning to the ship for lunch, we stop for a swim as we cruise to Nafplion, another gem of a Venetian/Byzantine town. We disembark early this evening, with time to wander the charming narrow streets. B,L

Day 11: Cruising – Mycenae/Hydra

A ­UNESCO World Heritage site, the imposing ruins at ­Mycenae represent the pinnacle of Mycenaean civilization, dating from the 15th to 12th centuries BCE. This ­morning we tour this ancient city that contributed to the development of classic Greek culture (and hence Western civilization) and also is linked to Homer’s epics the Iliad and The Odyssey. Then we depart for Hydra, with its well-preserved traditional town with a car-free center. We have time to wander as we wish before returning to Harmony V. B,D

Day 12: Cruising – Piraeus/Athens

We disembark this morning and transfer to Athens, where we tour the acclaimed Benaki Museum, with a prized collection of Byzantine art. After a light lunch at the museum we check in at our hotel where tonight we toast our adventure over a farewell dinner. B,L,D

Day 13: Depart for U.S.

Early this morning we transfer to the airport, where we connect with our flights home. B

B = Breakfast included    L = Lunch included    D = Dinner included


Please note: This tour involves considerable walking. You should be in good physical condition to enjoy the tour to the fullest.

Included Features:

  • Round-trip air transportation
  • 11 nights’ accommodations: 7 nights aboard M/Y Harmony V (Deluxe); 4 nights in Deluxe hotel
  • 23 meals: 11 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 6 dinners
  • Extensive sightseeing as described, including all entrance fees
  • Three private shore excursions
  • Services of a professional Tour Director
  • Private motorcoach transportation throughout your trip
  • Luggage handling for one bag per person
  • Gratuities for local guides, dining room servers, airport and hotel porters, and all drivers

Not included: Taxes; passport, visas and associated fees; personal expenses such as laundry and telephone calls; accident/sickness, trip cancellation, and baggage insurance; excess baggage charges on aircraft; transfers and baggage handling to/from hotel on day(s) of arrival and/or departure if you have booked as a "land only" participant or if you are arriving earlier or later than and/or departing earlier or later than the scheduled group transfer(s); any overnight on land due to flight schedule(s); meals, alcoholic or other beverages and all other services not specifically mentioned in the “Included Features” section of our full brochure.

Please call us toll-free at (866) 325-8664 or email us at travelstudy@columbia.edu for more details.